CHARACTER COUNTS

Casa Grande sophomore making most of his time on and off basketball court

Dec 5, 2023, 5:00 AM | Updated: Dec 20, 2023, 9:04 am

Casa Grande Union High School...

Casa Grande Union High School logo

Casa Grande Union High School sophomore Phinneas Linehan aspires to make it to the next level on the basketball court while maintaining a high academic level with law school on his radar.

Linehan, 15, made the varsity basketball team this season as a guard after improving his vision and shooting touch. The sport has meant a lot to him since he was 7 years old, and Phoenix Suns merchandise hangs around his room.

But Linehan also has a lot going on off the court. For starters, he is one of 10 siblings, nearly smack-dab in the middle as the fifth oldest. His eldest sibling is 26 years old while he has a 6-year-old sister on the other end of the age range. Five boys and five girls make up the family.

“I play (basketball) with my (13-year-old) brother a little bit, we have little competitions and everything,” Linehan said. “I teach him stuff I learned from practice because I don’t want to be gatekeeping. So I teach him up and he’s good. He plays on a team as well. … With their homework as well, I help them … they come to me first, instead of my parents.”

Linehan has a 4.3 GPA, fitting in his work and tutoring friends and siblings between the end of school at 3:15 p.m. and the start of practice at 6:30 p.m.

He is taking honors chemistry and AP world history with plans to take more advanced classes next year and signed up with Upward Bound, a federal program that supports students working toward higher education.

He received an email followed by a letter a couple months back with an invitation to attend a Stanford Law School summer program. He said it came out of the blue but felt it was sent because he has kept his grades up.

“I feel like it’s something I really want to do. It could help with experience because I don’t have that much experience with law,” Linehan said. “My dad is a cop, so he could teach me something a little bit but with law school, with this program, I feel like it could really help me because they offer knowledge … and could help me in my future because then I could put it on my resume that I have experience and I’m not winging it into law school.”

“Financially, I don’t know how I’m gonna be able to do it because it’s expensive and I have a lot of siblings,” he added.

Away from the classroom and the court, Linehan has a few plans to help others this holiday season.

Linehan has helped with “Blue Santa” for nearly a decade, handing out presents to children in the community with Santa Claus dressed in blue instead of red. With his father working in public safety, he has also volunteered with “Shop-with-a-Cop” events to help kids get school supplies.

Character Counts

Aani Nagaiah, front row far right, is the winner among 10 finalists for the 2024 Character Counts s...

Character Counts

Arcadia senior wins 2024 Character Counts Scholarship

Arcadia's Aani Nagaiah on Wednesday night was presented as the winner of the 2024 Character Counts scholarship courtesy of Parker & Sons.

2 days ago

ASU's HBE uniforms...

Arizona Sports

Arizona State basketball fans can now rock Sun Devils’ HBE jerseys

Arizona State basketball's Honoring Black Excellence jerseys are being released to fans for the first time this month.

16 days ago

Baltimore Ravens tighe end Mark Andrews...

Character Counts

Ravens TE, diabetes advocate Mark Andrews helped woman during health scare on flight

Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, who has Type 1 diabetes, helped a woman during a medical emergency on a flight to Arizona.

29 days ago

Benjamin Franklin High School's wrestling coach, Hayes Rollins (far right), was named as the Arizon...

David Veenstra

Benjamin Franklin High School wrestling’s Hayes Rollins named Arizona Sports Coach of the Month

Hayes Rollins, the wrestling coach at Benjamin Franklin High School, has been named the inaugural Arizona Sports Coach of the Month.

1 month ago

General view of the Suns at Footprint Center on November 17, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona....

Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns community remembers long-time writer Dave King

The Suns and their fans issued condolences Tuesday as word spread on the death of Dave King, a writer and editor of Bright Side of the Sun.

1 month ago

Frankie Collins #1 of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts after scoring against the USC Trojans dur...

David Veenstra

Arizona State’s Frankie Collins to donate $20 to Sacramento elementary schools for every steal

Arizona State's Frankie Collins announced he will donate $20 to an elementary school in Sacramento, California for every steal he collects. 

1 month ago

Casa Grande sophomore making most of his time on and off basketball court